The School District, in the midst of a severe budget crunch is spending millions of dollars on converting two more neighborhood schools to charters.
Steel Elementary in Nicetown and Munoz Marin Elementary in Kensington were selected, not based on school performance as with past Renaissance schools, but to accommodate the two charter school operators, Mastery and ASPIRA, who want them because they fit the feeder patterns for their burgeoning collection of schools.
In a new low for cynicism the District is allowing the parents to choose between keeping the school public or converting it to a charter. By depriving the schools of resources the District prejudices the vote. If it remains public there is no additional money. Charter schools are somewhat insulated from the impact of budget cuts by private money and because they don’t feel the pinch until the year following
First the District starves our schools, then faults them for not performing and sells them off to charter operators.
But, in spite of the efforts of the District and their charter “partners”, these two school communities are fighting back. School staff, parents, and community members are organizing for a NO vote. They want to see the District invest in our schools and partner with the community to develop improvement plans rather than turn them over to these companies. They want to keep valued teachers who have worked hard for their students.
PCAPS stands with them and will do everything we can to support them. We call on our members and supporters to volunteer their time to help organize and educate the community. At Steel volunteers are needed to table in the mornings and canvas on weekends. If you can help please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org